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Buster the Bus helps Team Pete stay safe

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Buster shows kids his lights and sign the way it can be seen at a bus stop while teaching about safety during the Buster the Bus Safety Event at the base auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 26, 2016. The District 11 Transportation Safety Office put on the event in conjunction with the rollout of seat belts being added to some of the buses so kids could learn to properly fasten their seat belts and about other bus safety measures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Buster shows kids his lights and sign the way it can be seen at a bus stop while teaching about safety during the Buster the Bus Safety Event at the base auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 26, 2016. The District 11 Transportation Safety Office put on the event in conjunction with the rollout of seat belts being added to some of the buses so kids could learn to properly fasten their seat belts and about other bus safety measures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Krystalyn Hale, 7, answers a question during the Buster the Bus Safety Event at the base auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 26, 2016. The event taught kids lessons about bus safety, including how to ride the bus safely, how to fasten seat belts and how to properly evacuate the bus if necessary. It was part of the implementation of seat belts to the school buses in District 11 as another measure to keeps kids safe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Krystalyn Hale, 7, answers a question during the Buster the Bus Safety Event at the base auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 26, 2016. The event taught kids lessons about bus safety, including how to ride the bus safely, how to fasten seat belts and how to properly evacuate the bus if necessary. It was part of the implementation of seat belts to the school buses in District 11 as another measure to keeps kids safe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Free school supplies were passed out to families who attended the Buster the Bus Safety Event at the base auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 26, 2016. The event was part of the implementation of seat belts to school buses in District 11 as another measure to keep kids safe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Free school supplies were passed out to families who attended the Buster the Bus Safety Event at the base auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 26, 2016. The event was part of the implementation of seat belts to school buses in District 11 as another measure to keep kids safe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Alex, a student at the R.P. Lee Youth Center, learns how to exit a school bus properly during an evacuation drill as part of the Buster the Bus Safety Event at the base auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 26, 2016. The event taught kids how to properly use seat belts on the bus, evacuate safely and how to ride the bus to and from school. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Alex, a student at the R.P. Lee Youth Center, learns how to exit a school bus properly during an evacuation drill as part of the Buster the Bus Safety Event at the base auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 26, 2016. The event taught kids how to properly use seat belts on the bus, evacuate safely and how to ride the bus to and from school. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – A student learns how to buckle his seat belt on a school bus during the Buster the Bus Safety Event at the base auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 26, 2016. The event was coordinated by the District 11 Transportation Safety Office due to the implementation of safety belts and to ensure kids know proper bus safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – A student learns how to buckle his seat belt on a school bus during the Buster the Bus Safety Event at the base auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 26, 2016. The event was coordinated by the District 11 Transportation Safety Office due to the implementation of safety belts and to ensure kids know proper bus safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Children line up to board a school bus to learn safety tips during the Buster the Bus Safety Event at the base auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 26, 2016. Children and their parents learned how to fasten the newly implemented seat belts, ride the bus safely and to evacuate safely in the event of an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Children line up to board a school bus to learn safety tips during the Buster the Bus Safety Event at the base auditorium on Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., July 26, 2016. Children and their parents learned how to fasten the newly implemented seat belts, ride the bus safely and to evacuate safely in the event of an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rose Gudex)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- He spun in circles on the stage, lights flashing and horn sounding, while children of Peterson Airmen gazed intently at the stage of the base auditorium for an educational ride.

The District 11 Transportation Safety Office brought Buster the School Bus to Peterson Air Force Base to provide school-aged children and parents the opportunity to learn about bus safety prior to the start of the school year.

With 450,000 school buses transporting 25 million kids to and from school each day, the importance of safety while on the bus cannot be overstated. Victoria Reid, school liaison officer, said the National Highway Transportations Safety Association acknowledged that travel by school bus is virtually the safest mode of transportation in the United States.

To increase safety, D11 took initiative to retrofit school buses with seat belts, she said. Not all have been upgraded yet, but all buses transporting children from Peterson to the feeder schools will have seat belts.

“We want to start the school year right, especially with our kindergarteners,” said Reid. “This will be the first time they’re riding the bus and we want to start off with them having to put their seat belts on correctly and not develop any bad habits.”

Peterson Airmen and their children learned lessons about how to cross the road safely, staying out of the “danger zone,” riding the bus safely, waiting for the bus, crossing safely in front of the bus and how to evacuate the bus in case of an emergency, Reid said. The event was very interactive and got kids excited about safety.

Buster the Bus spoke to kids about each lesson and showed a video to demonstrate the importance of wearing seat belts when on the bus. Afterwards, they all piled onto real school buses to get the feel for what it’s like to be on a bus and wear the seat belts.

“Safety is number one. We have them wear the seat belts to learn how to do it correctly,” Reid said. “They also (participated in) an evacuation drill where they had to exit out the back of the bus like they would in case of an emergency.”

After learning about and practicing safety tips, children and their parents received free school supplies provided by the Airmen & Family Readiness Center and the R.P. Lee Youth Center.

The event helped give parents a peace of mind when they send their child to school every day. They know the buses their kids are riding are safe and their child knows how to ride the bus safely.

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